Summer is here, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend some time outside with the kids soaking up the sunshine and enjoying not being cooped up in the same 4 walls I’ve been inside for the better part of a year now. Guessing that you’re probably feeling much the same way, I’ve rounded up a list of the best outdoor toys for kids. These are items that will keep your kids entertained and having fun outside for the summer. I’d recommend stocking up on things now before stuff starts selling out. Last year it was nearly impossible to get your hands on ma.y of these items once summer started.
Top 10 Outdoor Toys for Kids
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Water / Sand Table
I love water and sand tables. With them, you can simulate having the beach (in some ways) right in your own backyard yard. Letting your kids splash and build in the sand with very little fuss. I also love that they are much easier to clean and keep bugs out of than a traditional sandbox. I do recommend getting one with a cover like this one to help keep it clean when not in use. It also includes and umbrella for some shade and some built in accessories for play. As a bonus, you can also fill these tables with other materials to create a sensory bin for kids…think of beans, rice, or pebbles. These typically are not super expensive either. Water / Sand tables are a must-have outside toy for kids in my opinion.
Most kids absolutely love playing with sidewalk chalk. It’s great for getting out all of that creativity, practicing letters and numbers or you can use it to create your own games…like hopscotch or a jumping game where your kids can or step on the circles. Of course playing with chalk can be a bit messy, but since it’s outside, it isn’t a big deal. It’s also super affordable as a bonus. I do personally prefer the crayola chalk for my kiddos as I find it has a good variety of vibrant colors that can lacking in some of the other sets.
Bicycle or Scooter
Of course a classic outdoor toy is the bicycle, but our kids also absolutely love their scooters. The neighborhood kids are the same way, for some reason they all seem to prefer their scooters to bicycles. But with either option, it’s a great way to get some movement in. We love going on walks with our kids on their bikes or scooters following along. They’re also great to take to a park on a nice summer day. Don’t forget to get a helmet and some knee guards too.
Swing a Ring
Swing a Rings are oversized saucer shaped rings with netting or ropes strung through it to create a large seat that can be hung up as a swing. They’re great if you have multiple kids. I also find that they are easier for smaller children to stay in because they can lay down in them or sit cross-legged (whereas traditional swings require a bit of balance). You can find these sold separately to be hung up on a tree or another solid piece of wood. Alternatively they are sold with clips that can swapped out for a traditional swing on a playset. These saucer swings are easy to put together and tons of fun for the kiddos all year round outside.
Slip and Slide
A fun combo of slide and water, slip and slides are a backyard classic for a reason. They provide a ton of entertainment (for kids and adults alike). These can be especially fun if you have a small slope or hill in your yard. This slip and slide even comes with little boogie boards included. On top of that, it has 3 lanes that can be used for racing, which adds another fun element to a traditional slip and slide. It’s also nice and thick to prevent tearing and hold up for many summers to come.
Another thing that kids love to do is to climb. Why not give them a safe way to do it? Some playsets have climbing walls integrated or even available as an add-on. If you don’t want to make that kind of an investment, you can also buy smaller versions of stand alone climbers. This climber dome provides a free standing play center for hours of climbing fun.
This is a great inexpensive option that I think is great even if you do have access to a larger pool. A small inflatable pool gives smaller kids a way to get adjusted to playing in the water. It’s also great for keeping cool on hot summer days. We let our little ones dump all their beach toys in and play the day away in our backyard. I’ll set up a chair close to the pool and watch them, but it seriously keeps them entertained for hours! Now, in my mom groups I’ve heard raging debates on the best pool to use. Some folks insist on an inflatable pool for easy storage, but they are a pain to fill up and put away (not to mention prone to leakage). Others prefer the simplicity of an old school plastic pool, which are easy to pull out and fill up, but take up quite a bit of space. This foldable dog pool may actually offer the best of both worlds. It folds up for storage, but doesn’t require any inflation. No matter what you choose, it’s sure to be a big hit with the kids.
If you have a kids who loves playing house, this is an excellent option for you. Both my daughter and son really love a good play house, and in my experience they’re a big hit with many kids. For longer lasting entertainment, look for a play house that comes with items that are interactive like opening doors, windows, mailboxes, or built-in kitchens. Here’s a great option with tons of interactivity by Backyard Discovery including a sink, stove, cordless phone, working doorbell, pot and pan set with utensils, and a flower pot.
I saved the best for last, the ultimate outdoor toy for kids….a playset! If you’re looking to get a lot of your kid’s energy out, I think a playset is a great option. Of course this is the most expensive item on my list, but I think it’s well worth the expense if you have the space in your yard for it. Especially with the crazy last year that we had which made going to playgrounds nearly impossible. Important things to consider when buying a playset are:
- Safety, first and foremost you want something safe for your kids to play on.
- Durability – look for something made out of high-quality long lasting materials. If you buy a wooden playset, you may even consider sealing it to protect the wood.
- Size – of course you will want something that will fit well in your yard (in a flat location)
- Age Ranges – You will want to find something appropriate for your kids, but also something that will grow with them
- Installation – I’d recommend reading reviews on the setup process to ensure it’s something you want to take on. You can hire people to put a playset together for you if you’re intimidated or if you simply don’t have the time.
Did I leave out one of your favorite outdoor toys for kids? If so, please share in a comment down below. I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out my post on the 15 Must Have Baby Products for the Beach ⛱.